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Don’t flap in the cold snap
Thursday 5th February, 2009

Don’t flap in the cold snap

We may have got off more lightly than some parts of the country, but the cold snap has still brought some misery and delays to local motorists around the borough.

The council’s road safety team are offering timely advice to all road users. Manager Julie Dagnall says: “Even within our borough, driving can get treacherous if there’s snow and ice about. And if you are travelling longer distances, you really need to be prepared.”

Julie’s top tips:

  • always check the local and national weather forecasts before setting out,

  • fill up before going home - don’t begin a long journey on a low tank of fuel,

  • inform people when you expect to arrive at your destination, and

  • is a journey through bad weather absolutely necessary?

“No car is complete without some potentially life saving equipment,” adds Julie. “Torch, de-icer, a flask for a hot drink and why not keep a spare warm coat in the car at all times. Don’t forget the mobile, but never use it while driving of course.”

The council’s gritting team have been working round the clock and there’s no danger of supplies running out. The team still have more than two weeks’ supply and have even been approached by other councils who are running short.

It’s only in the last few years that councils have been legally compelled to grit roads, but the borough already had a full programme in place years before the government made it compulsory. It’s impossible to get gritting vehicles down all routes, though, and priority is given to the main routes, and the roads used predominantly by emergency services and buses. And, as Julie says, drivers need to be aware that even treated roads can be slippery:

“Falling snow cuts visibility – use dipped headlights. It’s the same in fog. If visibility is below 100 metres or 328 feet, use your fog lights front and back…and drive at a speed that’ll allow you to stop within the distance you can see clearly."

Drivers’ packs containing the Highway Code, information and hints from experts on safe winter driving are available from the road safety team. Ring 01942 488250 for more details.

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